Best of 2012

It’s been a fairly eventful year for me, so quite late.

That said, of 144 albums I bought last year, 89 were released in 2012, and it took a while to parse them all.  I’ll say that it was a really strong year overall.  There’s so much music being put out that it’s hard to keep up, but that’s a good problem to have.

My top 10 albums of 2012:

Japandroids (Celebration Rock) – Never any doubt about this.  Simply the strongest pop punk album in many years.  Starts and ends with (literal) fireworks because it’s a celebration.

Cloud Nothings (Attack on Memory) – A close second.  Way more angsty, but no less driving.

Perfume Genius (Put Your Back N 2 It) – It’s rare that I find myself thinking that a song could be longer, but that’s exactly the case with a lot of these.  I want more, but they’re just quick explorations of a melody or concept and then on to the next.

Allo, Darlin’ (Europe) – I admit I fought this a little.  So… twee.  But also so catchy, there’s no escaping it.

The Men (Open Your Heart) – Part of a trend of trainwreck noise that I cannot encourage enough.

Place to Bury Strangers (Worship) – Signed to a pedal company, you do the math.

Dinosaur Jr. (I Bet on Sky) – A good Dinosaur Jr. record.  That’s enough for me.

Purity Ring (Shrines) – I know it was inescapable all summer, but there’s something about the fresh (to me) sound that I really enjoy.

Two Gallants (The Bloom and the Blight) – two piece cowpunk, nothing of a departure from their earlier stuff, because if there’s nothing broken…

Diiv (Oshin) – dreamy with a frantic Galaxie 500 feel to it.  Argue with that.

The rest you get in chunks, probably no real order within the groups, and even the groups themselves shouldn’t be used for anything important:

Bob Mould (Silver Age)
The Jealous Sound (A Gentle Reminder)
First Aid Kit (The Lion’s Roar)
Crystal Castles (III)
Moonface (Heartbreaking Bravery)
Mountain Goats (Transendental Youth)
Of Monsters and Men (My Head is an Animal)
Macklemore (The Heist)
Craig Finn (Clear Heart, Full Eyes)

Justin Townes Earle (Nothing’s Gonna Change The Way You Feel About Me Now)
Father John Misty (Fear Fun)
Beach House (bloom)
Alt-J (An Awesome Wave)
Calexico (Algiers)
The Lumineers (The Lumineers)
Good Old War (come back as rain)
Sharon Van Etten (Tramp)
Dana Buoy (Summer Bodies)
Wild Nothing (Nocturne)

Jack White (Blunderbus)
Divine Fits (The Thing Called…)
Silversun Pickups (Neck of the woods)
Django Django (Django Django)
Lucero (Women & Work)
Gaslight Anthem (Handwritten)
Shearwater (Animal Joy)
Titus Andronicus (Local Business)
Andrew Bird (Break it Yourself)
Passion Pit (Goassamer)

Bat for Lashes (The Haunted Man)
Aesop Rock (Skelethon)
Bowerbirds (The Clearing)
The xx (Cosexist)
Lord Huron (Lonesome Dreams)
Raveonettes (Observator)
Damien Jurado (Maraqopa)
Shovels and Rope (O’ Be Joyful)
Magnetic Fields (Love at the Bottom of the Sea)
2:54 (2:54)